Chennai Braves’ batting line-up cracked before Team Abu Dhabi's pacer Naveen Ul Haq's deadly bowling to be restricted to a paltry 71 for 6 in 10 overs. Team Abu Dhabi then raced to an emphatic seven wicket victory with eight balls to spare in the 20th match on the eighth day of the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Naveen Ul Haq bagged three wickets in his first over and returned with figures of 3 for 7. Chennai Braves failed to recover from the blow as Andrew Tye too chipped in with 2 for 14.
Though Team Abu Dhabi too lost three wickets for one run during the chase, skipper Chris Lynn hit an unbeaten 39 backed by Fabian Allen (33n.o) to ensure their team’s victory in 8.4 overs. This victory helped Team Abu Dhabi move to the top slot in the points table.
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Chennai Braves won the toss and elected to bat only to find them get off to a disastrous start. With the first ball of the match, Naveen Ul Haq had Chennai opener Dan Lawrence caught behind by wicketkeeper Kamran Atta. With the second ball, Naveen had skipper Sikandar Raza clean bowled. Carlos Brathwaite stopped Naveen from getting a hat-trick but Naveen struck with the last ball of the first over getting David Malan caught by Alishan Sharafu at short extra cover for a duck.
With three wickets down for just one run, Peter Hatzoglou bowled tightly giving only a boundary to Vriitya Aravind off the last ball. Brathwaite then went on with his six hitting practice hitting Adil Rashid over the square leg fence. The fourth over from Hatzoglou was another brilliant one giving away just two runs. Andrew Tye who was introduced for the fifth over was hit by Brathwaite for his second six to long-on. But with the next delivery, Tye struck having Brathwaite caught at long-on by Naveen for 16. At the half way mark, Chennai were tottering at 28 for 4.
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Ross Whiteley joined Aravind and hit Fabian Allen’s first delivery for a boundary and last delivery for a six. Adil Rashid who bowled the seventh over had Whiteley out with the fourth ball, caught by Tye at deep mid-wicket for 14. James Fuller lifted Allen for a straight six and the last ball to wide long-on for another six. That added some respect to the total which read 60 for 5 by the end of the eighth over. In the ninth over, Tye had Fuller caught by Hales at sweeper cover for 16. Tye gave away just four runs in that over.
Naveen was re-introduced for the last over. Aravid hit the first delivery over short third man for a boundary. The rest of the deliveries were cleverly bowled by Naveen cleverly preventing batsmen from playing any big short. Aravind remained unbeaten on 21 and Chennai Braves got restricted to 71 for 6 in 10 overs.
Chasing the moderate total, Team Abu Dhabi opener and star batsman Alex Hales fell to the second ball of the first over for a duck to Patrick Dooley. Lawrence took a brilliant low catch at short over to give a great start. Dooley struck again with the third ball with Sikandar Raza running and taking a low catch at square leg to dismiss James Vince for a duck. Dooley gave one run and thus took two wickets in the first over.
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In the second over, Brandon King got out hitting Sam Cook’s first delivery to Brathwaite at mid-off for 1. Fabian Allen joined his skipper Chris Lynn with three wickets down for just one run. Lynn hit the first boundary of the innings to long on off Cook’s fourth delivery. Dooley who bowled the third over gave away just three runs.
Lynn hit Fuller for a six to mid-wicket off the second delivery of the fourth over, but then that is the only big shot that came off it. Allen too hit Raza for a six to square leg fence. Lynn hit the third delivery for another six. Those big hits eased a bit of the pressure on Team Abu Dhabi. With 36 runs needed off the last 30 balls, Lynn hit Olly Stone to fine leg boundary and also to long-on. The pair put on an unbeaten 72 runs partnership to win the match.
Team Abu Dhabi bt The Chennai Braves by 7 wkts. Chennai Braves 71 for 6 in 10 overs (Vriitya Aravind 21n.o, Naveen Ul Haq 3 for 7, Andrew Tye 2 for 14) Team Abu Dhabi 75 for 3 in 8.4 overs (Chris Lynn 39n.o, Brandon King 33n.o, Patrick Dooley 2 for 4)
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Player of the Match: Chris Lynn